Navarra has a long tradition of open economy and being open to the outside world. Since the 1960s, the beginning of its industrial transformation, more than 125 multinational companies from over 20 countries and operating in different sectors have established themselves here.
Navarra’s industrial fabric is currently very strong, representing more than 25% of GDP, almost 13 points above the Spanish average.
Most of the industrial companies, characterised by their high levels of technology and significant export capacity, belong to the two most important subsectors in Navarra’s industry: Automotive, and Machinery and Equipment. These two subsectors and the agrifood industry represent more than half of Navarra’s industrial GVA.
Navarra’s amazing business fabric ranges from the primary to the industrial and tertiary sector, generating synergies that facilitate cost reductions, productivity and profitability.
Navarra has the third highest per capita income in the country, €29,314, in the EU-27 average (€29,900) in 2020. Its unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Spain, almost 4 points below the Spanish average.
The high coverage rate and the increased impact of exports on regional GDP, around 44% in recent years, reflect the clear export profile of Navarra’s economy, a factor that favours long-term economic growth.
The main export markets are the European Union and the US, and the main sectors are: the automotive industry, capital goods and semi-processed products.
Navarra is characterised by its high capacity for cooperation among agents (education centres, science and technology and government) and companies that facilitate business development.
Access to local and regional government representatives has always been easy. The regional government’s strong commitment to business development, the small size of the region (10,500 km2) and the fact of being a region, as well as the following reasons:
Navarra was listed the 3rd region for ease of doing business in Spain in 2015.
The balance between productivity, costs and quality puts Navarra’s industry in a very good position to compete with the rest of Europe.
Navarra has received €2.625 billion of gross productive investment since 1993, an average of €94 million per year in the period from foreign multinationals. It is the sixth Spanish region with the largest presence in terms of foreign capital, according to its population, after Madrid, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Asturias and the Balearic Islands.
Unlike the rest of the country, where investment tends to be in the services sector (60%), in Navarra, 75% of investment has been made in industry, 78% in the last decade.
The impact of foreign companies on Navarra’s regional export figures is particularly significant due to the strong presence of such companies and their focus on the foreign sector. 64.8% of sales outside Spain by companies based in Navarra are linked to the activity of multinationals, an unparalleled percentage compared to other regions in Spain (national average of 40%).
Although these companies represented just 0.55% of the number of companies in the region in the sectors mentioned above, their impact on Navarra’s economy was much more representative in terms of the main macroeconomic variables. Therefore, their turnover represented 33.5% of the total, the production value reached 40.2%, and they absorbed 37.0% of purchases and work carried out by other companies, variables that are all above the average representation of subsidiaries at national level.
These companies are responsible for 17.8% of employment in Navarra, registering the third best ratio with respect to the national level, only behind Madrid and Catalonia.
*Source: Report on the impact of multinationals in Navarra in 2021.